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22 September 2020

Digital transformation: the steps you need to consider

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Two males looking at computer screens

Here we look at the digital transformation steps that your organisation needs to consider moving forward.

Digital transformation is undoubtedly a phrase with a lot of buzz around it - but the truth is it is more than just hype. As the world becomes increasingly digitised, it is up to businesses and organisations to ensure that they are keeping up with the times and preparing the company for the years ahead.

And with the COVID-19 playing havoc with the normal day-to-day running of the business, carrying out digital transformation might actually be essential as a part of the survival of the company.

Here we look at the digital transformation steps that your organisation needs to consider moving forward.

Identifying your transformation objectives

It can be easy to assume that digital transformation for its own sake is going to be effective. But if you want to make the most of your business’ transformation, you need to understand your ultimate objectives. It may simply be the case that your digital transformation is purely aimed at the perspective of the customer - how you provide them with better products and customer service, but it can also be wide-reaching.

There are actually many ways that business transformation can be utilised, from the infrastructure and network to transforming processes to make them more efficient and even digitising operations to improve agility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

The first step in this process is to understand what you want to achieve from your digital transformation - and that will inform the rest of the process.

Embrace remote working

There can be no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for businesses, with many companies having to completely modify the way that they operate just to survive. But along with these challenges come opportunities, and these opportunities can really help with your digital transformation.

Perhaps one of the most important has been the trend towards remote working. According to digital contractor specialists Clearhub, 40% of their contracts were remote prior to the COVID-19 pandemic - and interest in remote staff has been at an all-time high ever since. The fact that this interest has not tailed off tells us that remote working is here to stay.

So, if your business has not embraced remote working, or you remain unconvinced by it, now is the time to rethink. This can be a massive part of your digital transformation, as to utilise remote workers effectively, you will need to put the right technology in place to allow them to do their jobs.

Digitise processes as well as documents

When many business leaders think of digital transformation, they consider it to mean a move to the cloud and becoming paper-free. Of course, digital transformation is so much more than this - and the problem is that this idea is focused too much on individual elements of the business rather than thinking about the company as a whole.

Digitising documents is important, but more crucial is digital transforming business processes. If your business has processes that still utilise time-consuming manual work, now is the time to think about how this could be modified for speed and efficiency.

Think big - where will your transformation take you?

A major issue that many businesses run into when planning their digital transformation is that they don’t take things far enough. It is easy to consider what aspects of digital transformation are going to be important for the business today - but true transformation requires understanding how this transformation will impact the company.

It might be the case that in transforming your business, some of your services or products become obsolete - and that’s OK, but this is something that you need to prepare for.

Can’t find the software you need? Develop it

One of the problems that some businesses encounter when they think about what they need for digital transformation is that they can picture the ideal software and how it functions - but they can’t find this software available in the market. This can be enormously frustrating, as this software could be responsible for hugely improving the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of your business.

But if that is the case - why not the develop the software yourself? Not only is this easier than ever before through the use of contractor developers - it is even possible to make a research and development (R&D) tax credit claim for work carried out on software innovations, so it could be far less expensive than you imagine.

Dakota Murphey

Dakota Murphey has over a decade of experience in numerous HR and Marketing roles. Since becoming a full-time Mum, she enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge through her writing and connecting with like-minded professionals.

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